Under the covers

The cover that KDP gave me

Getting the cover right took a fair amount of time. All the advice blogs and author group pages and guides from Amazon put a lot of emphasis on a high-resolution cover image as a basis. Get the cover right and success becomes a possibility. Screw it up and you can never thrive.

My main characters are a skinny geek, and a well-rounded Indian lady. Do I want a nerd selling my book? No way!

So I went looking for:

  • Female
  • Indian
  • Well-stacked
  • Nude
  • But not too nude for an Amazon cover
  • Swimming or massaging/being massaged
  • Vertical format

There were any number of stock images with some or most of these attributes. But although I felt a bit like a porno queen browsing through pages and pages of images of women evidently enjoying themselves, nothing jumped out.

I put in a few keyword combinations, and nude candlelight came up with some truly mouth-watering images that could well hang in art galleries, but the one that jumped out at me was not even obviously female. But I loved the way the candle was lighting up a well-rounded bit of her anatomy. As it happens, the master image was quite horizontal, but if cropped could be a sort of vertical slice of womanhood with a candle dripping wax.

I paid for a download, did a bit of manipulation in Lightroom, then created a cover on that wonderfully practical site Canva.com. About a million fonts and styles to play with, and when everything was arranged nicely, I hit the download button.

It looked good, so I uploaded my story to Amazon, and when it came to uploading my cover image, I found that it didn’t accept the PNG format Canva had given me.

I wasn’t keen on interrupting the process once begun, so I did my best to design a cover within Amazon’s upload tool. It worked out kind of okay, I thought, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted.

It lasted a day – I still don’t think anyone has even looked at it! – before I returned to Canva to discover that I could actually download a JPEG file.

I’ve re-uploaded my book, this time with the right cover, and we’ll see how that goes.

I’m not a graphic designer by any means, but I think it looks okay. What do you think?



Written by Britni Pepper

Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures. Her schoolmates loved listening to her stories about princesses and pirates and dragons, and once she looked up to find the principal looking on. "No, no, don't stop, Britni," he said. "I want to hear what happens next!" What happened next was university, a job in the travel industry, and a career of travelling the world meeting the most fascinating people. Britni has travelled to thirty of the world's nations and loves making up stories about fascinating people doing interesting things in exotic places. No longer tales about princes and wizards, but her stories are just as much fantasy as ever.

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